I wanted to share with all of you the things I wish I knew when beginning a website. I am still new to all of this and I’m still learning but I wanted to tell you what I have learned so far. It all begins with creating a website. Now I know that part sounds easy but I will tell you my beginning experience and what I have gone through in creating a great website that people enjoy. I started out publishing my own kindle books. I know that sounds like a dramatic change of subject but hang in there I will get to the website stuff. After I published two kindle books I decided that an author page on Amazon and a Facebook page wasn’t enough to get the word out about my books. I began to look into marketing. I had absolutely no knowledge in marketing and I am still learning a lot every day. So of course in marketing research I have watched so many Youtube videos, read so many other blogs about the subject and Google searched my heart out. But what many blogs don’t really get down to is what kind of website hosting and website builder you should get with the brand you are trying to build. I started out with a Wix site. While Wix is a good site to build a website on (and it’s free) I was afraid that it wasn’t professional enough. I want to be taken seriously. I am starting a business and wanted my own personal domain name. So after a lot more research I decided to go with a paid web host and I got a bonus of a free domain name with the plan that I chose. Here came mistake number 2. I somehow thought I was getting hosting through Hostgator. However, that was not the case. I was excited that Hostgator had a WordPress plug in. I had worked a bit with WordPress in the past and was semi comfortable with using it on top of the millions of tutorials online that WordPress has. Unfortunately for me I accidently (I still can’t figure out how) signed up for Gator hosting, which is a sister company of Hostgator. Now don’t get me wrong Gator’s web building platform is pretty easy to use so if you need a simple drag and drop platform then that option might be for you. Also their customer service is definitely a bonus. They are quick to respond and help you in any way that they can. I quickly realized though that it wasn’t for me and not what I was looking for. In Gator there isn’t a way to see or work with the code to your site. I did mention to their customer service that it might be good for their customers to be able to do that. For a lot of people that probably isn’t an issue but for me it was. I have some knowledge in Html and wanted to be able to use that. Also, I wanted to be able to use Google Adsense on my site and after fighting with it for a while there wasn’t a way that I could find that allowed me to do that. You can embed an Html file into the site but for some reason it wasn’t working. I spoke to customer service again and they tried to help but in the end it just wasn’t possible. On the plus side they do support Google Analytics and that was very easy to set up. So after fighting with it for quite some time I decided that I needed a different hosting service that I could use another web site builder. On a side note, Gator only offers a 14 day money back guarantee so I totally lost out on that since I fought with the coding aspect of it for so long. After a lot more research and a million questions to other companies customer service I have finally landed on Siteground. So far I am very pleased with it. The customer service rocks (for me that is very important) and they have a lot of plug ins that have tutorials everywhere if you need a bit of help. I got a couple of different plug ins to make life a bit easier. One of the plug ins is called Insert headers and footers which makes adding the Google adsense code very easy and even if you switch templates it will still be in whichever header you have. I have to mention though that if you have a newly registered domain while the old host can point it in the right direction of the new host you can’t actually transfer it over for 60 days per ICANN rules. So I am still waiting for the 60 days to be up. Building a new website can be fun but there is definitely a learning curve to it. Here is my pros and cons list for the webhosts I have used:
Pros: Very easy to use. Never had to contact customer service
Cons: Maybe it won’t seem as professional if you are starting a business.
Pros: Customer service is pretty good. Pretty simple drag and drop site builder. Google analytics works well.
Cons: Can’t place ads in your website. Only a 14 day money back guarantee. No tutorials for Gator. Can’t look at or work with the html code.
Pros: Fantastic customer service. Easy to install plug ins. (I can’t say ads works yet because my application is still under review will update) Google analytics works well and with the plug in Analytify you get all your stats right in your dashboard of WordPress.
Cons: WordPress with Siteground takes some getting used to and if you are new to coding and creating websites you will have to do research to get your website created.
Thanks for reading. The main thing to do when starting a website is make sure you do your research. I could have avoided a lot of this if I knew what I wanted when I first started. Ask yourself how important is it that you can view code? Do I want to be able to place ads onto my site? What kind of site do I want to have and will it look professional? This whole thing is a learning process and if I have made choosing a bit easier for someone else through my mistakes then that is a win in my book.